Giving In

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

George Orwell

“The only way out is through.”

I’ve heard that phrase here and there (—heck I’ve probably said a couple of times too) but I don’t think I really understood what it meant until recently.

I assumed it meant tough it out. Keep pushing. Grit your teeth and make it happen. Don’t give up. Don’t back down. Anything that resembled the country musician Rodney Atkins’s lyrics “If you are going through hell keep going.”

But I don’t think that’s the true meaning, or at least not the whole story.

Realizing that “the only way out is through” is actually about acceptance.

Acceptance feels like a word that means giving up, but the opposite is true. It’s standing up for yourself by giving in to your problems and circumstances and letting go of the outcome. Again, which to some people might sound like failure, but really its success wrapped in confidence.

When you accept where you are, you can find progress forward. The process isn’t the goal, but a byproduct of accepting whatever life throws at you.

You get sick, and that becomes part of your story.

You lose your job, and that becomes a stepping stone on the life you were meant to live.

It leads you to not only sympathize with others like you but allows you to impact others with your personal story. It leads you down a path you wouldn’t have taken.

When you accept the path you must take, suddenly opportunities start springing up everywhere you look.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #919

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This post was inspired by the book The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection

Creative Flow

“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Jack Welch

There’s an interesting trend right now in technology (that you will begin to notice everywhere) where some apps and operating systems no longer have large update cycles. Instead of 2.0 to 3.0 massive updates that address problems and add new features in bulk, we are now seeing a steady stream of continuous updates. These updates are instant, and usually happen without notice. Google’s Chrome Browser for example. I don’t remember a single time I’ve had to actively update it. New features, tweaks, bug fixes, they just flow in while we aren’t looking or while we are sleeping. And, with more and more of our gadgets being connected over the Internet. This is a powerful shift in computing. Kevin Kelly calls this trend ‘flowing’.

What if we were to apply the same incremental, continuous approach to our own skills and creativity?

We aren’t computers. I can’t Matrix download Kung Fu into my brain in a couple of minutes (…yet). But there are ways we can learn and improve more optimally in this fast changing world. Daily habits, for example.

I’ve been talking to death about daily habits this year, but they are a great conduit to creating daily steps of improvement.

Habitualizing* our creativity enhances our creativity.

Whether my arguments of practicing daily habits persuades you, adding a ritual, a practice, around your work gives you access to an endless flow of ideas. Instead of creating something every now-and-then when the feeling strikes, you are putting pen to paper (so to speak) every time you practice.

Creative flow is our direct line to a stead stream of ideas, portfolio of work, momentum and community.

Personally, I don’t worry about writers block anymore, because I know that when I sit down (stand up) to write, I’ll have something to say. Because of my daily commitment to the craft, ideas flow.

Tapping into our creative flow also heightens our awareness of the world around us.

Our experience influence our work (and vice versa). By subconsciously / consciously knowing that we are going to create something, our mind seeks out the interesting out of our experiences.

One could argue that our job as creatives is to tell our story through our work. A part of that job is seeing the world as it is, seeing it as it could be, seeing what we like and dislike or find amusing or interesting — seeing the magic in the ordinary — and saying something about our observations with our work. (Or just creating stuff because it’s fun and we can’t not do it 🙂

Continuously creating gives us the abilities of creative flow.

It also elevates our skills faster than otherwise and gives us the freedom to pursue a life of creativity.

*Not sure if this is a word.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #636

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